cover image The Pyramid and Four Other Kurt Wallander Mysteries

The Pyramid and Four Other Kurt Wallander Mysteries

Henning Mankell, , trans. from the Swedish by Ebba Segerberg with Laurie Thompson. . New Press, $26.95 (392pp) ISBN 978-1-56584-994-5

The five stories in this outstanding collection from Mankell (Faceless Killers ) provide glimpses into Kurt Wallander's early life as a policeman as well as paint evocative portraits of contemporary Swedish society. An unremarkable businessman is poisoned in “The Man on the Beach” but—in typical Mankell fashion—the case is larger, more complex and more interesting than it first appears. In the volume's best entry, “The Death of the Photographer,” Simon Lamberg takes studio portraits of weddings and children, but a couple of nights each week, he uses his darkroom to distort published photographs of politicians and newsworthy people for a macabre personal scrapbook. It's a bizarre hobby, but the cause of Lamberg's brutal, apparently senseless death is an even stranger puzzle. Like the Wallander novels, these stories rank among the finest police procedurals being written today. (Sept.)